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Belly Fat | 7 Tips for Reducing Your Muffin Top During Menopause

From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List

Fitness and Wellness after hysterectomyWhat can I do about the weight I've gained during menopause? Most of it is right around my middle.

You might not have had a model figure, but until menopause arrived your weight was at least proportioned better. Now thanks to menopause, you have a spare tire around your waist and you don’t like it. Nothing fits right and you’re tired of being asked when the baby is due. It’s embarrassing and hurtful.

It’s going to take more effort than ever before to lose some weight, but there are some tricks to reducing the extra pounds around your tummy. So get up and get going – you can do this!

Cut Calories

As frustrating as it is, you are probably going to need to cut calories – even if you are eating as you always have. Unfortunately, your metabolism can change with age and menopause, so your body doesn’t burn calories as efficiently. Also, you may not need as many calories as you used to because without realizing it you may have slowed down and aren’t as active as you once were.

The good news is when cutting calories, the belly fat tends to be the first to go. One easy way to cut back is by making better choices. Swap out a higher calorie food for a healthier one so you don’t end up feeling hungry and eating everything in sight. For example, cut back on soda and start drinking flavored water instead. Instead of a candy bar, snack on some fruit or granola.

You should also be sure you are eating healthy. You may have gotten by with lackadaisical eating habits in your 20's and 30's, but it’s going to catch up with you now. Calories are not equal during menopause, so choose the right ones. Be sure you have healthy fats, enough fiber, and a variety of foods to keep your meals interesting and healthy.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Dehydration is your enemy. For one, dehydration slows down your metabolism causing your body to store more fat and in all the wrong places. Your body can also confuse thirst for hunger, causing you to eat when you really just need some water. Dehydration also zaps your energy, making it harder for you to want to exercise.

Coffee, soda, alcohol, and juice aren’t going to cut it. Some can be more dehydrating by acting as a diuretic, and they also contain sugar and calories you don’t need. Keep dehydration at bay by drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day – more if your weight and BMI are higher or if you exercise a lot.


Stress causes your body to produce cortisol – the fight-or-flight hormone. While it gives you the boost you need to handle situations, chronic stress does a number on your body, including your belly. Yep, too much cortisol causes your body to store extra fat around your middle.

Life can be stressful enough without menopause, so when you throw in changing hormones and annoying menopause symptoms, it just gets worse. Learning to manage stress will benefit your overall health and possibly reduce the extra weight around your middle.

Start Moving

Your doctor has been telling you for years that you should be exercising regularly. But it’s more than that. If you are mostly sedentary, you’re going to carry around some extra weight, including around your middle. You need to be moving regularly, not just a few minutes a day for some exercise.

Aerobics area great way to burn calories and speed up your metabolism. Add some to your exercise routine, but also get up and get going as often as possible. Stand whenever you can. Walk as much as possible. Skip the shortcuts. Take the long way to the bathroom. Breaking a sweat when you exercise is good, but wiggle, tap, and shake every chance you get – after all, every movement burns calories.

Get Some Sleep

Sleep deprivation can lead to belly fat. It zaps your energy, messes with your metabolism, and leaves you prone to stress. You wind up eating more, exercising less, and increasing your waistline.

Whether it’s life or menopause that has you awake at night, start taking steps to have a better sleep routine. Insomnia and lack of sleep are only going to compound the weight issues.

Manage Menopause

Many symptoms of menopause can lead to weight around the middle. Some affect sleep, others increase stress. Symptoms can also leave you tired, anxious, and depressed which make it harder to follow a healthy lifestyle.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is one option for managing menopause. A healthy balance of hormones helps minimize and prevent common menopause symptoms caused by a decrease in estrogen.

If HRT is not right for you, talk to your doctor about alternatives. They may include food choices with plant estrogens, herbs and supplements, non-HRT prescriptions like Effexor or Brisdelle, over-the-counter options, or home remedies. You may also need to make some lifestyle changes, address chronic health issues, and keep your doctor involved.

Consider A Coach

Sometimes it helps to work with someone knowledgeable. She can coach you on diet, lifestyle, and exercise. Being educated can make it easier to make and follow changes in daily life. Your coach can also help keep you accountable and on track with those changes and work with your doctor to be sure they are all safe for you.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

06-03-2017 - 11:35 AM


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